This is a particularly exciting post as it’s the blog’s first on a house in the northern beaches. I was lured into the region for a visit due to the promise of prettier, more private beaches than their eastern suburbs counterparts, and the image I had of weathered beach shacks lining the shores. I knew this image was slightly idealistic – beachfront mansions now appear to be more common than their holiday house ancestors. I was lucky, though, in that I happened to find the perfect place to write about – a heritage-listed beachfront beauty in Freshwater now known serving up Italian cuisine as Pilu.
I ended up in Freshwater with no clear direction – I drove east from Mosman in search of the beach, and followed signs ad hoc before spontaneously deciding on the suburb just north of Manly. I could just have easily ended up in Dee Why or Newport, and was even considering the trek out to Whale Beach. It was a good choice – its cute village leads to a beautiful, if small, beachfront, and it is covered with attractive, historic buildings. The significant number of charming buildings is evidence of the suburb’s long history – it began development in the late nineteenth century. Nevertheless, many of the suburb’s prime landholdings are occupied by contemporary masterpieces with glass frontages perfect for scoping the view. I was looking for something different, though – an old-school beach house.
While this building is now set up as a fine dining spot, it was once a house, and it stands on one of Freshwater’s best spots, mere steps from the sand. The house’s weatherboard construction complements its location, and the pale blue and bone white shades, wooden floor boards, high, beamed ceilings and curved, soaring windows combine to make it an ideal getaway destination. Standing within the building, walking through its charming gardens and tracing the aged pathways surrounding it conjure images of long summers spent on the beach. It’s the best type of beach house, where perfection gives way to perpetually sandy floors, fans trying to beat the Sydney heat, and coastal breezes offering sweet respite.